President Ian Khama’s brother and Minister of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism, Tshekedi Khama has broken the silence on the presidential succession debate as he declares that he will contest in 2019 if requested by party members.
Khama told this publication exclusively on Thursday that though he is happy with his current responsibilities as Minister, he would contest the 2019 party presidency if party members want him to.
“If they want to give me more authority I would accept and contest because to me it’s about the party. It is not about individuals or somebody who wants power,” he revealed.
Khama also stated that the next president should be a unifying factor and be willing to serve both the party and the nation selflessly.
It is understood that party members from central region, the biggest and most influential region in the party had approached the president’s brother to cajole him to contest the party presidency in 2019.
“It is true that there are people who approached me to contest the presidency. I feel honoured, but my father taught me that; country first, tribe second,” he said.
Khama also highlighted that in the event that the party chooses somebody else he would also accept and continue serving as in his position.
“I also enjoy what I am doing, we have made progress since I took over at the ministry. If somebody else is chosen I would continue serving people as minister because I love my job,” he said.
Perhaps, revealing his style of leadership, Khama noted that he is a pragmatist and value service delivery. “I fired two permanent secretaries for poor performance. Batho bare Tshekedi o bogale[People say Tshekedi is hot tempered] , but I want things to be done,” he said.
Khama also said he values painstaking consultation with communities when dealing with matters involving them. “I do not believe in imposing decisions. I try to reach consensus with people because if you impose decision on them, you will face some sort of resistance,” he said. “When things are done right, people will appreciate and there will be no criticism.”
The Serowe North West legislator said, the reason why it takes a long time for him to resolve the matter between his ministry and people of Boteti in the matter regarding the erection of new fence which separates people and wildlife is because he wanted to do things right.
“People thought we wanted to take their fields and we had to convince them that the decision is being taken in their best interest. We are about to conclude the negotiations,” he said.
“I also want the ministry to be as flexible as possible. If they want boreholes, we will drill them wherever they want.”
Khama was also tipped to contest the party chairmanship at BDP elective congress last year but chickened out at the last minute. The chairmanship in the BDP is often associated with the position of the vice president.
While Vice President Mokgweetsi Masisi is expected to assume the presidency when President Ian Khama leaves office in 2018, a tough challenge is expected in 2019 as a number of candidates are said to be lining up to contest against the incumbent.
According to BDP party constitution; when the party is in power, the President of the party shall be elected by secret ballot at a National Congress of the party called by the Central Committee during every general election.
Khama’s revelation makes him the strongest candidate to challenge the incumbent owing to his status as president Khama’s brother and son of founding President Sir Seretse Khama.
Tshekedi, like his brother enjoys support in Central District, the region which is the heart of BDP strength.
Among those who have shown interest to contest include former cabinet ministers Boyce Sebetlela, Tebelelo Seretse, incumbent minister Nonofo Molefi and former MP for Gavborone West North 9now Gaborone Bonnington North) Robert Masitara.
This week’s Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Central Committee (CC) meeting held at State House chaired by Party President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi, turned into a ‘boardroom brawl’ with Masisi expressing concerns and accusing central committee members of not adequately shielding him from opposition missiles.
The meeting which was held on Monday this week was to deliberate on a number of agenda items but the President took the moment to tongue lash his inner circle to stop silly PR blunders that are causing more harm than good. The reprimand was mostly directed to party Secretary General Mpho Balopi as well as Chairman of Communications and International Relations sub-committee, Kagelelo Banks Kentse.
It took the intervention of the Permanent Secretary to the President, Elias Magosi to arrest a dispute between the warring Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC), and the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP), by instructing the former to hand over the unfinished P100 billion docket to the latter.
But the PSP’s efforts are not enough, the two institutions are back in the boxing ring again following a letter from the DPP inviting the DCEC back into a case they long declared as “hogwash”. A savingram dated 18th January 2021 from the DPP to the DCEC is calling on the DCEC to assist with further evidence in the P100 billion case, but the DCEC which has never hidden its indifference posits that the move by the DPP can be summed up by the expressions: ‘opening healing wounds’.
A fed-up Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) Director General, Tymon Katlholo has come out guns blazing over an order from the Director of the Directorate of Public
Prosecutions (DPP), Stephen Tiroyakgosi instructing the DCEC, to solicit a statement from the Deputy Speaker of Parliament, and ruling party Member of Parliament for Mochudi East, Mabuse Pule, regarding the role he played in the issuance of Whelheminah Maswabi’s intelligence operations passport.